Skip to main content

A Turnkey Cause Marketing Promotion for Restaurants

If you’re a restaurant, even in the quick-service category, it’s hard to imagine a transactional cause marketing campaign you could launch more easily or quickly than a dessert promotion. When a customer buys a slice of cake, pie, a baked Alaska (see at left), or some other dessert, you make a donation of some amount to your cause partner; $1 is a nice round number.

In most cases you wouldn’t want to promote a salad or a main course. At a sit-down restaurant most customers come into your establishment to order an entrée and in many cases you probably give them a salad with the entrée. If the goal is to increase you average ticket price, cause marketing the entrée probably isn't the ticket.

But with an appetizer, drink or dessert promotion you could quite possibly raise the average ticket price by several dollars.

Drinks have very high margins, of course, and consequently they are often featured in cause marketing promotions. Most of the cause marketing around mixed drinks that I’ve seen involve a custom cocktail that somehow befits the cause.

All that’s required is the lead time to figure out what that special drink is and to stock up on the necessary inventory. Drinks could, however, be a bad mix for certain causes. And while there’s a handful of causes you probably couldn’t do a dessert promotion with… anti-obesity causes come to mind…I reckon there’s more safe ground with dessert than with drink promotions.

Moreover, desserts are potentially more universal than drinks since even youngsters and teetotalers (like moi) could order one. The number of active drinkers isn't as high as you might think. A U.S. Department of Justice survey found that 46 percent of adults 21 and over had not consumed any alcohol in the prior 30 days. Another 26 percent reported drinking less than once a week.

For some of the same reasons appetizers can be a good choice for cause marketing, too.

The key in such a cause marketing promotion is… well… the promotion. How are you going to activate it? That is, tell customers and prospective customers about it.

Telling customers is easy. Brief your service staff on the promotion. You make even offer some kind of incentive for them to push the promoted dessert item, sales contests, for instance. You could put it in the menu, on table tents, on internal posters, etc.

If you already advertise, you should add a picture of the item and a few sentences of description about the cause and the promotion. If you don’t advertise, you should certainly send out some press releases, post it to your website/Facebook (and other social media), Tweet out the daily results, maybe even do some kind of thematically appropriate publicity stunt.

Honestly, this is the closest thing to a turn-key cause marketing promotion as I can think of for a restaurant.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Top Eight Cause-Related Marketing Campaigns of 2007

Yeah, You Read it Right. It's a Top 8 List.

More cause-related marketing campaigns are unveiled every day across the world than I review in a year at the cause-related marketing blog. And, frankly, I don’t see very many campaigns from outside North America. So I won’t pretend that my annual list of the top cause-related marketing campaigns is exhaustive.

But, like any other self-respecting blogger, I won’t let my superficial purview stop me from drawing my own tortured conclusions!

So… cue the drumroll (and the dismissive snickers)… without further ado, here is my list of the eight best cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007.

My list of the worst cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007 follows on Thursday.


Chilis and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
I was delighted by the scope of Chilis’ campaign for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As you walked in you saw the servers adorned in black co-branded shirts. Other elements included message points on the Chilis beverage coas…

Profile of Cause Marketing Veteran Joe Lake

Blogger's Note: What follows is a profile and interview I wrote of Children's Miracle Network co-founder Joe Lake, who was recently installed as the CEO of the Starfish Television Network. This originally appeared in the Salt Lake Enterprise on Monday, May 11.

Lining the walls of the office of Joe Lake, the new CEO of the Starfish Television Network, a 501(c) (3) public charity and television network founded in 2006 and headquartered in Midvale, are pictures of the many celebrities he has worked with.

There are pictures of Joe with Goldie Hawn, Sidney Poitier, Jeff Bridges, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Rob Lowe and Walter Cronkite, and affectionately-autographed publicity stills from Bob Hope and Rich Little.

It’s something you’d expect in the office of a Hollywood agent, or at a celebrity hangout in Manhattan, or Chicago or Vegas. But the Starfish Television Network, whose mission is to tell the stories of nation’s nonprofits in a way that educates, entertains and inspires its audi…

50 Cent, Cause Marketer

Curtis Jackson, aka rapper 50 Cent visited the horn of Africa in September 2011 hosted by the United Nations and committed to provide 1 billion meals to the World Food Programme over the next five years, funded in part by several cause marketing efforts.

The Horn of Africa has a lot of problems right now, nonetheleast of which is that starvation there is rampant, long-term drought is endemic, and working institutions are few.

Since the UN's World Food Programme can manage to deliver a meal for about $0.10, Jackson has basically committed to donating $100 million (or 200 million 50 cent pieces). That's a very big number.

He gave his commitment a kick start with a donation of $350,000. Like him on Facebook, and when he reaches 1 million new likes, he’ll donate another $1 million.

50 Cent is also tying the sales of his Street King energy drink to the World Food Progamme (WFP). For every bottle sold, 50 Cent will donate one meal.

Street King competes with 5-Hour Energy Drink, a ca…